Traveling Phils fans give Kimbrel earful at Camden

MLB

BALTIMORE — Philadelphia fans had their chance to show Craig Kimbrel how they feel.

For the past two days, the Baltimore reliever has had an answer.

Kimbrel struck out the final three batters Saturday to close out the Orioles‘ 6-2 victory over the Phillies. It wasn’t a save situation, but it was certainly a charged atmosphere. The first two games of this series have been sellouts at Camden Yards, with plenty of Baltimore and Philadelphia fans at the ballpark.

“I was in Philadelphia all last year, so I knew that the fans would travel, especially with it being so close,” Kimbrel said. “I figured I’d get a nice reception.”

The greeting, of course, was anything but nice. Kimbrel lost Games 3 and 4 of the NL Championship Series last year, and the Phillies went on to lose the series in seven games to Arizona.

So the Philadelphia fans gave him a decidedly unbrotherly welcome when he came on in the ninth Friday. Kimbrel pitched a scoreless inning, but the Phillies went on to win in 11. On Saturday, he took the mound with a four-run lead. He walked the first hitter before breezing through the next three.

“It’s not something you usually get in your home stadium, but Phillies fans, they travel deep and they were here today,” Kimbrel said. “I definitely heard them.”

Orioles starter Grayson Rodriguez also heard the crowd. He went seven innings and got the win Saturday.

“It felt like a playoff game. It was a pretty hostile environment,” Rodriguez said. “Having a lot of the Phillies fans there, that helped me a lot. Obviously you want to see the stadium packed out in orange, but there was some animosity in there, and man it made pitching fun today.”

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